This is a follow up post to yesterday’s post As A Mom of Boys.
It’s okay to say no to things that don’t do our kids any good. It is especially okay to say no to the things that are potentially harmful to them. So you think that purchasing sexy underwear for middle school aged girls is inappropriate? And you have a middle school aged daughter? Then tell her no!
She will survive. Even if “ALL” of her friends are getting to wear them/buy them/use them. And while it may not feel like it at the time, you will survive her wrath. It doesn’t go on forever, there will be an end to it. She’ll thank you later, I’m almost certain of it. (Although, this may be much, much later. Like, when she’s an adult.)
If there is a questionable product or fashion that you, as the parent, deem less than suitable for your child’s age, then don’t give in. Don’t buy it. If they come home with it, take it away. That is your right, you’re job is to protect them, guide them, lead them, and help them. You can’t do that by giving in to them all the time.
Next, if you’re raising boys and are, like me, concerned about what the advertisements for sexy underwear for young girls will cause them to believe about females, turn the channel. You can’t avoid EVERY marketing ploy, because they are everywhere. (And if you’re like me, you don’t have an underground bunker, nor can you stomach the thought of living locked underground until the kids are 18.) But you can change the channel. Record shows and fast forward through the commercials.
And start conversations. When those things aren’t avoidable, then take them on head first. Talk about what those images make them think, and how they can control their thoughts and their bodies. Teach them self-control and discipline. Teach them to think for themselves and to recognize that a woman has more worth that just what she looks like. Those conversations aren’t always easy (and kids ask the darndest questions) but they are more than necessary.
Create a culture in your home that respects women and men for their individuals strengths and weaknesses. Create a culture that sees past image. Create a culture that values people for who they are, not what they look like or what they have. This isn’t just about sex appeal and body image, but that does seem to be a big part of it.
Remember to say no for their own good and safety, and stick with it. Remember to talk to them and teach them to say no, to respect others, to value themselves and to discern right from wrong.
Most of all, fellow parents, I urge you to pray. Ask God to captivate their hearts and minds. Ask God to show you how to protect their purity and innocence. Ask for the strength to say no, the words for the conversations, and the courage to stay the course.